The Emptiness review by Alesana

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  • Released: Jan 26, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8.4 (131 votes)
Alesana: The Emptiness
1

Sound — 8
This is textbook, emotionally bombastic screamo, but it's also heavier than anything the band has done in the past. There's lots of European-inspired, metallic riffing that's punctuated by the band's three-tiered vocal attack. There's a lot going on The Emptiness; it's a dense album, thanks to its layered sound and its complex lyrical concept. Alesana aren't much different than most bands of this ilk, but the North Carolina band is going to for broke by packing so much into the space of 11 songs. The album is an experience and while you can listen to each song by itself, it's meant to be listened to as a complete piece and it will bash you over the head with its ambitiousness and intensity; it doesn't go down like a glass of milk. But then again, there's nothing more cathartic and cleansing that music that can exhaust your body and brain. A Lunatic's Lament has an almost gothically romantic vibe, with its quieted opening; it's also the most commercially viable song on the record, as its peppered with less screaming and super ballistic riffs than, say, The Artist, which fires on all pistons, all the time. Quiet/loud dynamics are the hallmark of The Emptiness.

Lyrics — 7
Opening with spoken word passages, The Emptiness doesn't mask its intentions from the get-go. The entire album is based around a specific storyline, and it does feel more like a clever story than a high concept, about a character at the turn of the 20th century. The story is told through the band's androgynous, screamy, somewhat femme vocals and screamy, shrieky wailing. I'm not going to go too deep into the concept here; the album comes with a 13-page booklet for your to delve into yourself and decipher the meaning with your own brain! (I can't do everything for you!) It's nothing if not ambitious and creative and attention capturing, though! There's a lot of harmonizing between the high-pitched yelp and the screaming mimi style; there's also some guttural, almost death metal vocals on Curse of the Virgin Canvas. Alesana don't hold back when it comes to vocals, which truly define this album. There are more layers than an onion here, with an almost innumerable amount of pitches, keys and ranges dotting the sonic landscape.

Overall Impression — 7
The Emptiness pledges its allegiance to the screamo nation but Alesana definitely take a successful stab at the artier side of the genre. There's moments where the band reminds us of Thursday, but Alesana are a bit more polished and aggro. It's an acquired taste without being high brow, so if you like constant switches in vocals and androgyny mixed with monstrous moshability, then The Emptiness will earn a spot on your iPod's rotation.

57 comments sorted by best / new / date

    NemX162
    I really liked this album, however I don't think the reviewer is right in putting Alesana forth as cookie-cutter band. Maybe It's just not my genre, but I think they stand out. I haven't heard any band that resembles them. Overall a good review, for a very fun album.
    SRC
    this band is amazing and have a lot of talent. their new CD is AMAZING, and so catchy! all the people dissing them just need to get a life and stop commenting on bands they dont like
    philliesfan1733
    Omg shut up. You people that denounce this as music really tik me off. This is more of music than half the bs that they put on the radios now. Alesana learned that thy have artistic ability an cab write their own stories instead of basing their songs off of the brothers grimm stories or other classics. I am a total fan of alesana and I think they're even better because they can be more melodic now. This is a greAt album from a great band. They're are vey few bands that are comparable to them. And again, with this not being music? It all fits in perfectly with the definition of the word music. A I am definetly a heavier metal preferring person, yet Alesana is no doubt my favorite band
    ade diablo
    ouw yeah. . .alesana rocks! they really know what they should do to make a different thing with their songs. .I'm such THE LOVER
    StereoSteve17
    Dude This album was ferocious.. best album. period. i mean look at murder< that was driven from the first 5 seconds. and the artist the technique and form the guitarist used was phenomenal. they are true musicians cuz its not that power chord crap through every song. some of you dont realize how hard music theory is & wat they do is pretty legit. ferocious album. blew me away literally.
    NemX162
    jackrocks4 wrote: this band sucks cock. the guitarists need to stop making their guitars sound AWFUL(im not sure how exactly a guitar with distortion can sound terrible, but some of the melody's in all of their songs sound like a ****ing gameboy)their screamer needs to not sound like a middle school kid and their singer needs to grow some balls. everything abuot this band is atrocious. they need to stop.
    You listen to AFI and Cannibal Corpse. A pussy band and something that sounds like a clogging drain with guitar. If you don't like it, just say so politely. Douche.
    -tempest-
    oh i never thought id see the day id be doing this... sigh.. don't compare this band to Thursday, just don't.
    NemX162
    henkka_potku wrote: It makes me sad that everytime there's a new review the metalcore or the post-hardcore one makes it on the frontpage.
    Get over yourself.
    lnstruMETAL
    They've definitely kept their sound and are exploring what they can do artistically, so i give respect. I think it was a little risky but their true fans will most likely be pleased. I think this showcases their song writing skills, especially instrumentally in this album. They manage to stay heavy without losing the crucial melodic parts that define their style.
    baraka376
    Dude i dont care if you dont think this CD is better, but it is absolutly a more Manly, if you will, sound to it. It is a step up from their first two CD's, it has more experimental and more aggressive riffs and screams than in their other releases. It has a more "developed" sound to it
    niejel
    and yes, this album impresses me. there is no song of Alesana's that fails to impress me.
    a.hurricane
    jackrocks4 wrote: this band sucks cock. the guitarists need to stop making their guitars sound AWFUL(im not sure how exactly a guitar with distortion can sound terrible, but some of the melody's in all of their songs sound like a ****ing gameboy)their screamer needs to not sound like a middle school kid and their singer needs to grow some balls. everything abuot this band is atrocious. they need to stop.
    dude wheres the respect??? every member of alesana is like 10 times the musican you will or could ever be. just think about that next time buddy
    SkylitGavin
    hyper5 wrote: Is it just me, or did anyone else think the cover art was a vagina when they first glanced at the thumbnail? =)
    What has been seen cannot be unseen
    iamghost
    this shit is SOOO much better than their old stuff. the singer doesn't sound as femme and his voice is sooo much better and tolerable. i love them now =]
    Badgerfan993
    not as good as their old stuff, but this album still kicks ass 9/10 **** anyone who who wants to be a douche about telling me otherwise
    Sam Rulez D00d
    philliesfan1733 wrote: Omg shut up. You people that denounce this as music really tik me off. This is more of music than half the bs that they put on the radios now. Alesana learned that thy have artistic ability an cab write their own stories instead of basing their songs off of the brothers grimm stories or other classics. I am a total fan of alesana and I think they're even better because they can be more melodic now. This is a greAt album from a great band. They're are vey few bands that are comparable to them. And again, with this not being music? It all fits in perfectly with the definition of the word music. A I am definetly a heavier metal preferring person, yet Alesana is no doubt my favorite band
    Amen.
    rumi07
    i didnt like Alesana when they came out... but i gave a try to this album and it really was more than i expected... not everything has to be brooootal breakdowns or scaring grunting... now i luv this guys, but i dont like their look =D
    Amer1ca
    Now lets think Alesana? WOW? for those who arent fans and gave this album an experiment probably wont fond to it very well. but i must say that i am very impressed. although the band isnt quiet nearlly the same as they were when they lost Adam. How ever they do make up for whats left. The album The Emptiness is the third full-length album by Alesana and the first to have current guitarist Jake Cambell instead of the former vocalist/guitarist Adam Ferguson. So because of this change it now causes the only vocal harmonies in the album to be between multiple recordings of Shawn Milke and guest vocals from Melissa Milke. Now lucky for those who are still intrestead because the record recorded in the fall of 2009 and was released only on January 26, 2010 so you're not to late from the opening. Although the former albums have references to mythology of different cultures, this is the band's first concept album where the story is not based on anything else, but from the poems of Edgar Allan Poe to his wife Virginia Clemm in character of "Annabel Lee". the story is said by the band to be set in the onset of the 20th century and is expounded greatly in the liner notes of the CD. If I must say The Emptiness is unique in being the only work by Alesana to have an official single: "The Thespian". Now unlike many bands in the muisical world alesana is a four piece vocal band which indicates that all memebers sing or scream either way they are all part of the band and that is pretty much their so good becuase they become reall involved with their music. However this is what makes this album different because in this one thier not? Agian like i said if this is you're first time to listen to them give the album some time the riffs from the guitar are quiet impressing and by the time you know it you'll like the album more than before. And if it helps It debuted at #68 on the Billboard 200 chart.
    leo11x
    Maaaaan! i really like alesana, but making an album where you tell a story is not a great idea when your screams sound of a man with no tounghe and a really angry dog barkingreally deep. Seriusly if some day they release an album without releasings the lyrics, all fans willbe confused.
    ninjagayden777
    Amer1ca wrote: Now lets think Alesana? WOW? for those who arent fans and gave this album an experiment probably wont fond to it very well. but i must say that i am very impressed. although the band isnt quiet nearlly the same as they were when they lost Adam. How ever they do make up for whats left. The album The Emptiness is the third full-length album by Alesana and the first to have current guitarist Jake Cambell instead of the former vocalist/guitarist Adam Ferguson. So because of this change it now causes the only vocal harmonies in the album to be between multiple recordings of Shawn Milke and guest vocals from Melissa Milke. Now lucky for those who are still intrestead because the record recorded in the fall of 2009 and was released only on January 26, 2010 so you're not to late from the opening. Although the former albums have references to mythology of different cultures, this is the band's first concept album where the story is not based on anything else, but from the poems of Edgar Allan Poe to his wife Virginia Clemm in character of "Annabel Lee". the story is said by the band to be set in the onset of the 20th century and is expounded greatly in the liner notes of the CD. If I must say The Emptiness is unique in being the only work by Alesana to have an official single: "The Thespian". Now unlike many bands in the muisical world alesana is a four piece vocal band which indicates that all memebers sing or scream either way they are all part of the band and that is pretty much their so good becuase they become reall involved with their music. However this is what makes this album different because in this one thier not? Agian like i said if this is you're first time to listen to them give the album some time the riffs from the guitar are quiet impressing and by the time you know it you'll like the album more than before. And if it helps It debuted at #68 on the Billboard 200 chart.
    Didn't know you could fit a whole wikipedia article in the comments OoO but seriously, damn good album, up with Option Paralysis and Plastic Beach as my favorite of 2010
    theAlts
    This album is sick! Why do loads of people hate it? Hell! Why do people hate Alesana? It doesn't make sense!
    Masenkorogue
    I absolutely loved it! And normally I don't go for people screaming at me, but I am definitely hooked. I need more!
    Paddles
    never has an album name been more reflective of the musical content within
    SkylitGavin
    I love On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax and Where Myth Fades To Legend. I hope this one is as good as those two
    jackrocks4
    NemX162 wrote: jackrocks4 wrote: this band sucks cock. the guitarists need to stop making their guitars sound AWFUL(im not sure how exactly a guitar with distortion can sound terrible, but some of the melody's in all of their songs sound like a ****ing gameboy)their screamer needs to not sound like a middle school kid and their singer needs to grow some balls. everything abuot this band is atrocious. they need to stop. You listen to AFI and Cannibal Corpse. A pussy band and something that sounds like a clogging drain with guitar. If you don't like it, just say so politely. Douche.
    says the person defending alesana. afi and cannibal corpse are pretty cool.
    henkka_potku
    It makes me sad that everytime there's a new review the metalcore or the post-hardcore one makes it on the frontpage.
    umbrellacorp
    SkylitGavin wrote: I love On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax and Where Myth Fades To Legend. I hope this one is as good as those two
    It isnt
    jackrocks4
    this band sucks cock. the guitarists need to stop making their guitars sound AWFUL(im not sure how exactly a guitar with distortion can sound terrible, but some of the melody's in all of their songs sound like a ****ing gameboy)their screamer needs to not sound like a middle school kid and their singer needs to grow some balls. everything abuot this band is atrocious. they need to stop.
    niejel
    I think Alesana's style is unique. If you compare them to AFI and Cannibal Corpse, then there is no doubt who wins. But if the person really likes this band, as I do, then I will think this is a good band. I mean, Fall Out Boy is a total fallout for all musicians but they still sell out. It's all a matter of respect guys.
    Hells.Mascot
    Paddles wrote: never has an album name been more reflective of the musical content within
    Haha... And A.F.I. are not a pussy band. They are a better band than Alesana. Just because the members of the band won't bite your head off if you comment on their face tattoo doesn't mean they're pussies. Their music sounds more refined than what you're probably used to and Havok sounds very feminine, but I'd prefer vocals as unique and impressive as his over some bullshit knuckle-dragging Chad Kroeger sound-alike (not to mention most vocalists today). And Alesana's lead vocalist's cleans have a heavy Havok influence, if you haven't noticed.
    Dallen_007
    metalupthe@$$ wrote: I can give this person no credit as a reviewer for referring to this album as "TEXTBOOK!!!, emotionally bombastic screamo". Nothing textbook about it, The true screamo sound is no where near what Alesana or any band similar to them (from first to last, Chiodos, Blessthefall, Etc.)sounds like, contrary to what every kid with bangs and skinny jeans believes, they are MODERN POST HARDCORE. I am a big fan of Alesana though, i loved "Try This With Your Eyes Closed" and "On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax" but the latest 2 kinda lost that raw edge and went for more of a mainstream sound, but "The Emptiness" does have some cool riffs.
    Do you realize every member of Alesana wears skinny jeans and has bangs? At least that's how they were when I saw them.
    deadstring_3000
    well, the emptiness is good but i would say that "where myth fades to legend" is still the best album of alesana. someone agree?
    RevilingFool
    I love On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax
    tilting the hourglass... cant wait to see to hear the new shit!!
    Amuro Jay
    henkka_potku wrote: It makes me sad that everytime there's a new review the metalcore or the post-hardcore one makes it on the frontpage.
    You don't like the music. Big deal. lrn2opinion.
    -tempest-
    henkka_potku wrote: It makes me sad that everytime there's a new review the metalcore or the post-hardcore one makes it on the frontpage.
    why post-hardcore is a great genre. not to disagree with you but, i see plent of variety when it comes to the review in this columb.
    henkka_potku
    NemX162 wrote: henkka_potku wrote: It makes me sad that everytime there's a new review the metalcore or the post-hardcore one makes it on the frontpage. Get over yourself.
    What?
    metalupthe@$$
    I can give this person no credit as a reviewer for referring to this album as "TEXTBOOK!!!, emotionally bombastic screamo". Nothing textbook about it, The true screamo sound is no where near what Alesana or any band similar to them (from first to last, Chiodos, Blessthefall, Etc.)sounds like, contrary to what every kid with bangs and skinny jeans believes, they are MODERN POST HARDCORE. I am a big fan of Alesana though, i loved "Try This With Your Eyes Closed" and "On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax" but the latest 2 kinda lost that raw edge and went for more of a mainstream sound, but "The Emptiness" does have some cool riffs.
    NemX162
    ComeInnerEar wrote: Cannibal Corpse being brought up in an Alesana review? What's going on? -____-
    I know man, I'm scared too.
    hyper5
    Is it just me, or did anyone else think the cover art was a vagina when they first glanced at the thumbnail? =)
    The Two
    hyper5 wrote: Is it just me, or did anyone else think the cover art was a vagina when they first glanced at the thumbnail? =)
    It was just you...and me